Thursday, July 13, 2006

Brad Winderbaum's Satacracy 88: Episode One

Brad Winderbaum, creator of The Futurist (about which I have already blogged) and the assistant to the executive producer on the upcoming Marvel Comics Iron Man film -- as well as a frequent contributor here -- today launches his new project, Satacracy 88, at itsallinyourhands.com. The format? Four-minute live-action choose-your-own-adventure micro-television webisodes premiering once a month on your computer or cell phone. The genre? David Lynch meets Alias. The powerful lead actress Diahnna Nicole Baxter, Brad's girlfriend, has recently finished shooting a horror movie called Shadow Puppets with James Marsters (Spike on Buffy). Go see the short now, and come right back here for the commentary.

Filmmaking is expensive, and if you don't have a blockbuster budget you have to make the limitation work for you. You want to see a perfect example of working with a low budget in the sci-fi genre? Rent Primer. You want to see another one? Go back and watch Satacracy 88. Like early Marvel Comics the fantasy is invigorated by a real world heft. The whole thing takes place in our world, not a stylized funhouse universe, and it is better off for it. David Lynch once remarked that he likes to film in people's houses because you cannot re-create the knick-knacks real people collect. With a 200 million dollar sci-fi budget, you would never think of the simple detail of the post-its on Susan's computer screen. Real people, the viewers, will be deciding what happens; the world should be theirs.

The details are exquisite: the logo, the sound design when Angela cuts the tomato with subtly violent precision, the jump-cut editing in the bathroom, the 88 push-ups, the disorienting fade-to blacks (did anything happen in the interim?), those eyes. I thought the B-movie horror nightmare -- the laughing face with the bloody mouth and the black background -- was a nice touch (when we have nightmares aren't they all like B-movies?); David Lynch and Alias are two influences, and both draw on B-movies heavily (Lynch pulls on everything from bad cop movies and soap operas to Rebel Without a Cause knockoffs and J.J. Abrams has said that Towering Inferno is his favorite movie).

Does she take the pill or not? Go vote now, then come right back here and give the director some feedback (he is reading your posts). The e-mail everyone you know and send them the link. The more support this project gets the better it will be. Then in a month -- like a comic book -- you will get the next installment. Get in on the ground floor of this so that when your friends shove cell phones in your hands and try to get you to watch it you can tell them that, not only have you been watching it, you also guided it to where it is now.

10 comments:

Coligo said...

It's definitely a worthy idea, like a Fighting Fantasy book on the internet. I look forward to the next episode, but I do wonder if one episode a month may be too far apart to really get a momentum going.

Geoff Klock said...

You make a fair point, but it's just getting started. Also do the math on how many minutes it takes to read an issue of All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, All Star Superman, Ultimates, Ultimate Wolverine Versus the Hulk, or Planetary and then divide that time by the number of months you waited for it to come out: I think you may come up with a similar number to Satacracy 88's 4 minutes a month. Actually Satacracy 88 may give you more time per month; plus it's free.

Mitch said...

Geoff-- Thanks for sharing this(and everything).

Futurist-- I've already voted. I'm going to send this out to everyone one in my email list and everyone on Myspace, if that's okay. Needless to say, I was completely floored by this-- everything is marvelous, as Geoff has said.

I don't worry about the lag between webisodes because I know that I am playing a part of it. Ultimates and Planetary are these magical things that get printed in Canada (by elves, new evidence suggests). Since I voted and my opinion counts here... regardless of the story, I'll come back just to see if my choice "won".

brad said...

Thanks for watching the film everyone, and PLEASE, spread the word. I want as many people to see this as possible. Since its launch two days ago, according to my estimations, more people have already watched 88 then have watched The Futurist. That's a testament to the form: the web is a great equalizer, allowing enormous accessibilty with a relatively small amount of cash required.
No question people will tune back in each month. We've barely scratched the surface of the story - wait until we really get into it.
I haven't released the current stats - but I will tell you here, that the vote is a lot closer then I expected.

Anonymous said...
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Geoff Klock said...

It was removed because it was spam.

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Geoff Klock said...

That was spam